A Photographic Landscape in Local Philanthropy

September 16, 2013

leafSarasota Magazine hosted its annual Guide to Giving party last week–a celebration of philanthropy in our community.

The Giving Partner collaboration and its funders were so pleased to once again be part of the magazine edition and the event itself. What a lovely night of nonprofit friends and colleagues at The Francis!

The cover of the Guide to Giving featured the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, an organization committed to preserving land in Southwest Florida. The accompanying black and white photo by the one and only Clyde Butcher is stunning.

If you are like me and enjoy immersing yourself in our natural treasures, maybe taking a photo every now and then along the way, you understand the mystery of the unexpected, ever-changing outdoors.

Just at the moment when you have almost captured something extra special with your camera, the wind moves it or the light changes. Something or someone walks in front of your lens at the beach. A car passes in front of you.

Our connection to philanthropy is impacted by changing circumstances constantly—severe cuts in government funding, generational differences in giving patterns, the rise of volunteers who also want to be involved in our organization’s decisions, and the many choices each of us has for giving time, talent and treasure.

There are so many challenges—exciting challenges, if you perceive them that way. When you can relax in those challenges, adventures are great, creativity expands possibilities, and new opportunities are created.

We have to stay ahead of the curve so that the images others capture of our organizations tell the right stories about who we are in this moment. The Giving Partner allows us to do that.

Hundreds of local nonprofits have made it a priority to develop and update profiles in The Giving Partner, our community’s source for in-depth information about charitable organizations. Through our relationship with GuideStar, we can offer this service locally. Across the country, places like Kansas City, Boston, San Diego, Orlando and New Haven are also committed to their own versions of The Giving Partner through GuideStar.

Today we are different from who we were last year, with more than 330 updated nonprofit profiles—each offering a choice for giving to businesses, foundations, donors, citizen philanthropists.

Thank you for sharing your most recent program accomplishments, needs, finances, board and staff member information in The Giving Partner. Together, we’re becoming better at keeping our community informed about who is doing what and how.

Our sector and those we depend on to sustain our good work have led the way in creating positive change. I see it every day and know that you must too.

What appreciation we owe to partners like Sarasota Magazine for being so committed to telling our stories with us, for us and through us so that we capture the complex and beautiful landscape of our social sector!

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


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